Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Sunday, September 14, 2003

I hate having a memory like a sieve...

listening to: 'I am Not the Girl' by Rachel Farris
feeling: Asthmatic

I had a really great conversation with someone earlier, and I remember at the time thinking, oh, that would be a good subject to blog on. So, of course I can't remember what it was. Figures. But then, he doesn't remember, either. :)

As I was riding the bus to the game, though, I talked with a woman whom I've seen several times. She's my favourite cashier at Kroger's on Euclid. I worked a couple of summers at that and I can relate to, as she put it, the tendency for it to 'suck the life' out of you. I asked her if she was still working there, which she is. But, it turns out she's a librarian, too. She graduated in 2000 and hasn't found a job yet. That's not so unusual around here; our library school makes it hard to break into the field, and preference is going to go to people with experience. I told her a little of my story, how I could sympathise. I'd been a graduate assistant in school and lost my job when I graduated, then worked at a bagel shop for a semester before going back to school. But it was my experience doing all the librarian things in a comic store that landed me my current job, so I found a way to get the experience and turn it to good use. I do get the impression she's pretty much 'waiting' for the perfect job, which frankly isn't going to happen around here as long as she stays without experience. She wasn't a student worker or anything during school; she just worked at the grocery, so that's counting against her. She wants to be a children's librarian, something that doesn't really involve much with computers [she apparently is a machine jinx], and well, when I said that as near as I can tell my job originally involved someone sitting at a desk babysitting the materials, she said that's what she'd like. Of course, I would have gone crazy with nothing to do--okay, maybe I did that a little anyway--but still I created a lot more to my position, expanded the role of the librarian throughout the hospital, started an early literacy project, etc., etc., because I'd have been bored otherwise. I suspect most 'natural' librarians would. But there are some people who go through school because, well, they basically don't have an idea of what they'd like to do, and like patrons, have this mistaken idea that a librarian sits around and reads all the time. I got the impression she felt like that.

I don't know how many people have told me that entered librarianship because 'they liked books'. Potential librarians beware: this is not sufficient. Amongst other things, what you really need to like is mating people with the information they need. People are the focus of librarianship, not, as many assume, materials.

I kind of fell into librarianship, too, so I do understand. I was going through a divorce and decided I needed something other than a degree in history to put food on the table (muhaha...little did I know that would be more difficult than I thought). I'd always worked in libraries growing up and thought it would be interesting. But once I got into school and started working in the library, I realised that not only did I love it, I was good at it. And once I got my job, I realised that it wasn't the tedious technical things I loved, as I had thought--although I do those well--it's that feeling when you find something for someone and they think it's magic. :) It's a wonderful feeling. It's been my experience that people fall into three categories when pursuing library science: they're bored stiff, they thrive, or they just don't have an inkling.

I finished my laundry and wound up using my inhaler because I was getting very wheezy. I don't know if it was the dust in the laundry room, the muggy night air, or the rampant allergens outside, but it was not pleasant. Ah, late summer and early autumn, the time when nature bands together to try to kill all the humans in Kentucky. I mean, really, our state flower is goldenrod. They might as well have made it ragweed. There are reasons why the historical Indian tribes (as opposed to the prehistorical ones) tended to hunt game here rather than live here, after all. If I were to study medicine in Kentucky, I'd definitely pursue allergy/immunology. You have a captive audience.

The local music programme finished and I didn't care for what was playing on the radio so I tried the CD and found that my Rachel Farris sample CD that came in a movie drink earlier this summer was inside. Brilliant marketing, although not necesarily environmentally-friendly; I'm sure a lot of people threw theirs away with the cup.

Well, now that I can breathe again, and have lots of clean clothes, I think I'll head on to bed. One question before I go, though--

Do you find this site easy to read, or is it too busy? I was reading some comments about the Warrior Librarian site where the reviewer mentioned that a lot of library sites are poorly designed. Certainly I think it's imperative for a library site itself to look professional. But since this is my personal page and I don't have a full-blown site with lots of pages, I've crowded things a bit. Also, I've tried to make this accessible regardless of browser, so I haven't added forms or other streamlining features. So if you have comments or suggestions, I'd like to hear them. I'm still learning CSS and I code all my HTML by hand--so occasional mistakes are made, because that's how I learnt and I find it actually easier, so I know there's always room for improvement. Thanks.

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